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Scientific NameApium graveolens var. rapaceum Miller, (Umbelliferae family)
Common nameApium, marsh parsley, smallage, wild celery.
Varieties and seasons
In Europe, four countries nearly concentrate the whole production of celeriac: France, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium.
Celeriac has a fleshy root, eaten raw or cooked.
Celeriac is a vegetable with one of the longest culinary histories in Europe.
There is a difference between early celeriac and autumn celeriac.
The first, grown in varieties such as Alba, Ajax, Blanc de Rueil, Géant Danois, Ofir and Subliem, is characterised by a "root" which is round, regular, dense and weighs around a kilogramme.
Autumn celeriac, also called "seasonal " has a larger root, around 1.5 kg in some varieties, such as Cobra, Diamant, Mentor, Monarch, Névé, Niva.
Vegetable garden: growing celeriac
Celeriac is a biannual plant. Celery is sown in nurseries between March and April. Three months after sowing, the plants are replanted in the fields. The celeriac is harvested in September and October.
Celeriac is sold in a wide variety of forms: fresh (knob celery root or grated), tinned or frozen (puree form).
Nutritional values (per 100 g)
* Ciqual 1995 ** Recommended Daily Intake ***USDA
Celeriac contains very few calories : enjoying a high water content, it is also rich in fibre, since it is composed essentially of cellulose and hemicellulose. These fibres not only ensure regular bowel movements, but also help to regulate the absorption of nutrients. They are particularly useful in dampening down hunger pangs.
Celeriac is rich in potassium and contains vitamin C and vitamin B9. It is appetizing, diuretic, cleansing, anti-rheumatic and a real pick-me-up. The juice of celeriac is thought to help the healing process when applied directly on a compress.
What is about portions...?
-a child portion : four table spoons of grated celeriac
-an adult portion : one medium ladle of grated celeriac
Cooking and nutrition: tasty combinations
-Celeriac puree with grated gruyere. Very little salt is need for this dish - celeriac is already rich in sodium. This puree is a balanced dish, thanks to the added milk and cheese, and always a hit with kids. For an even milder taste, just add a potato.
-Mussels in white wine with celeriac: the aniseed notes of the celeriac give a punch to the iodized flavour of the mussels and other seafood. The vitamin C in celeriac helps the body absorb the iron found in large quantities in seafood.
To get young children to like it, grate celeriac with a fine rather than a medium grater to make it easier to eat. You can also serve them celeriac from a jar: the fibres are then much softer and the flavour is milder. They’ll love it.
High in fibre, celeriac contributes to normal, regular digestive transit and a balanced diet in general. Celeriac has excellent nutritional density: 200 g contains just 36 calories, a negligible amount compared with the 2,000 to 2,300 calories we need every day. But these 36 calories also provide a third of your fibre needs, 2/3 of your vitamin C requirements and 40% of your vitamin B9 needs.